FACT CHECK: Does This Image Of A Ukrainian Firefighter Wearing A Jacket That Says ‘Edmonton’ Prove CNN Is Lying?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter
A post shared on Facebook claims an image of a Ukrainian firefighter wearing an “Edmonton” jacket proves CNN is lying in its coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Verdict: False

The firefighter in the picture appears to be wearing a jacket that was donated by a Canadian organization. The organization has photographed itself donating supplies to the country since at least 2017.

Fact Check: 

Missiles hit Lviv, Ukraine March 26, causing several fires and wounding multiple people, according to Al-Jazeera. The city’s governor said two rockets hit a fuel depot while two others hit a military factory, the outlet reported.

The Facebook post shows a tweet that includes a screen grab of a CNN news broadcast from Lviv in which a Ukrainian firefighter in the background appears to be wearing a jacket with the word “Edmonton” written on it. The Facebook post also shows a second tweet that includes a link to an October 2021 article from the Canadian Occupational Safety detailing a fire at a crude oil tank farm in Edmonton, Canada. The post appears to be suggesting that CNN aired old footage of a fire in Edmonton in its coverage of the conflict in Ukraine.

“This is how much CNN lies,” reads the post’s caption. “This was not in Lviv Ukraibe (sic) ..the firefighters jackets say Edmonton in Canada…Now look at the 2nd picture….Tsss…for people who do not follow truth…all you get is lies.”

The image from the CNN broadcast does not, however, prove that CNN was being dishonest in its coverage. The Ukrainian firefighter in question appears to simply be wearing gear that was donated by Canadian firefighters.

An internet search reveals that Canadian firefighters have donated gear to their Ukrainian counterparts for years. A CBC News report from October 2017 documented the efforts of Firefighter Aid For Ukraine, an Alberta-based charity, in giving equipment to under-equipped firehouses in Ukraine.

Kevin Royle, the founder of the organization, told Check Your Fact in an email the group has sent various shipments of firefighter gear to Ukraine over the years. (RELATED: Does This Video Show A Russian Missile Strike On A Ukrainian Building?)

“I can confirm that Lvov, did take possession of at least some of the equipment shipped out this month,” Royle said, adding that an aircraft with 14 tons of equipment was delivered to the country earlier in March, with the aforementioned city being one of the places that received gear. “I would be willing to bet that the gear came from our program,” Royle stated.

Royle also addressed the claim about CNN allegedly reusing old footage of a fire in Edmonton. He stated that while Edmonton did have petroleum storage facilities that looked similar to those depicted in the CNN broadcast, the images were “definitely not from Edmonton.”

Royle directed Check Your Fact to a March 27 report from CTV News discussing the CNN broadcast in question, as well as other comments from him and social media posts from his organization debunking the viral claims. The group also posted a picture on Facebook in 2017 of Ukrainian firefighters receiving some of the gear, including a jacket that says “Edmonton” on it.

This is not the first time CNN has been falsely accused of spreading disinformation about the situation in Ukraine. Check Your Fact recently debunked a viral claim that alleged the network tweeted about a famous hotel in Ukraine that was destroyed by Russian bombers.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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